Schools and sports clubs have taken a keen interest in turf grass. Public Domain Pictures, and Supplied

Tired of a dry lawn? Here’s everything you need to know about artificial grass, writes Marchelle Abrahams.

Are you lawn-proud? Do you find yourself just staring at it and thinking “that's a damn fine lawn”?

But maybe it's time to be honest with yourself. The only time your grass looks greener is two months out of the year. It could be time to stage a lawn intervention.

With water restrictions, and some parts of the country experiencing drought, your grass has taken a bit of a beating.

Dry, brown, brittle; and we're not just talking about the lawn.

Artificial grass could be the way to go. Not only is it a water wise option; the move towards green sustainability makes it the trendy choice for eco-conscious homeowners.

If you're in the market for a new (fake) lawn, but don't know where to start, we've called on the experts from Nouwens Carpets to answer our burning questions.

Why the move towards offering customers artificial grass? Is this a sign that decor trends are moving more towards natural elements?

It's not surprising that the general trend in design in recent times has moved towards sustainability and products that can offer this for homes and even corporate spaces.

In climate terms, South Africa is already living on the edge. Much of the landscape is arid or semi-arid, and the whole country is subject to droughts and floods.

With this in mind, and with many South Africans concerned about the future water reserves of the country, it makes sense to use a product in your garden that does not use our precious natural resource - water.

What type of client should be investing in this product?

The target market is quite diverse, so anyone who rents or owns a home, as well as schools or clubs that have sports fields. Even corporate offices and hotels are looking into turf as an investment these days and an alternative to natural grass.

And the initial costs involved?

The cost would depend on which of the artificial turf in our range the consumer would choose; also the installation required of the turf as each terrain is different.

What are the pros of installing artificial grass?

  • No mowing, no weeding, no seeding
  • A natural-looking lawn
  • No watering required
  • No allergy-causing grass pollen
  • No fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or chemical additives required
  • Lush green grass all year round, in all conditions
  • Looks and feels like real grass
  • No harmful materials used
  • Constructed with drainage so it stays dry underfoot
  • Child and pet friendly
  • UV stabilised to minimise fading

And the cons?

Temperature. The type of product used in the infill can also have a significant effect on the temperature of the grass.

Although you don't have to cut it, debris such as twigs and leaves will still need to be picked up or hosed off if you want to keep it looking picture-perfect.

Can it be categorised as tough and long-lasting?

It is very durable and if well installed, it can last for a very long time.

How do you maintain it?

To keep it looking good and lasting longer, proper care and attention is required daily, or at the very least, weekly brushing with a firm bristle broom will keep turf clean and upright (do not use steel brushes).

Leaves, rough dirt and other dry debris can be removed with a flexible rake or leaf blower, or hosed away (be careful not to remove too much infill material).

Washing with cold or warm water is sufficient, but for harsh chemical spills, please refer to the manufacturer.

To remove solids carefully scoop the solids off the turf; spilt liquids can be washed away with water.

Burning materials such as cigarettes and coals should be removed as soon as possible. Artificial turf is perfect - even for the rainy season as it is designed so rainwater will seep through the perforated grass flooring.